New Zealand confirms first case of new coronavirus

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

WELLINGTON - New Zealand confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus on Friday in someone who returned from Iran, but said the chances of a community outbreak remains low.

The patient -- in their 60s -- tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day. The person is being treated in Auckland City Hospital and their condition is improving, a Health Ministry statement said.

"Although we have our first case of COVID-19, the chances of community outbreak remain low," the ministry said.

Public health officials have begun tracing the patient’s contact history and will test the individual's family members for the virus.

The person travelled on an Emirates Airline flight that originated in Tehran, stopped in Bali, Indonesia, and ended in Auckland on Feb 26.

People on the final leg of the flight, who are concerned, should contact authorities, the ministry said.

Reuters